Q&A: CEO Erik Gainor and CTO John Wenger on How Technology is Reshaping the Commercial Real Estate Sector

We sat down with two tech pioneers at Zeustra to discuss the evolution of technology operations at the firm and across industries. CEO Erik Gainor and CTO John Wenger talk about how Zeustra helps clients automate processes and optimize real estate performance through digital transformation and continuous innovation. Erik Gainor is the CEO of Zeustra. He oversees all aspects of Zeustra’s operations while leading the growth strategy and future vision of the company.

John Wenger is Zeustra’s Solutions Engineer. He is responsible for all aspects of technology across Zeustra including product development, software integration, and digital transformation.

Q: How has the digital transformation changed Zeustra’s business in recent years?

Erik Gainor: The acceleration of the digital transformation has opened up opportunities in the real estate economy that didn’t exist just a few years ago. The dream of a single source of truth (SSOT) and process automation has finally matured into a new reality that democratizes global marketplaces ripe for disruptive innovation. Zeustra has adopted a modular and agile approach to technology development that harnesses the speed of change characteristic of the future real estate economy. We can evolve much faster and scale better than our competitors. This enables us to offer technological solutions to our clients that improve performance and maximize returns on a global scale.

John Wenger: The digital transformation is transforming the face of commercial real estate from start to finish. For decades, the milieu of commercial real estate has been face-to-face meetings and stacks of paper. It meant driving across the state and sending lots of snail mail. Now, things like virtual meetings, remote tours, and electronic documents and signatures have accelerated and simplified the sales process. Under the hood, even more powerful technologies are transforming vast clusters of data into real value using predictive analytics to help buyers and sellers find each other faster than ever before.

Q: What are the most exciting advancements in technology at Zeustra?

Erik Gainor: There has been so much transformation at Zeustra in the past year to the point that our business processes would have been unrecognizable just 18 months ago. Although I’ve always been heavily invested in the technology sector, there was a game-changing moment when I realized that Zeustra was no longer a real estate company that had the technology but was now a technology company that does real estate. This paradigm shift helped us flip the traditional real estate model upside down and break through some of the traditional barriers that limited growth and scalability.

Our most exciting breakthroughs are in new frontiers made possible by advancements in process automation, building information modeling (BIM), and artificial intelligence. We are fortunate to have great partnerships with global leaders in these sectors. This offers us incredible advantages as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation on behalf of our clients.

John Wenger: Individually, there are lots of exciting technologies we have integrated: Digitization, automation, multi-source data integration, machine learning, and so on, but to me, the most exciting advancement is the emergent quality of what happens when these technologies work together. It becomes something entirely new, something that didn’t seem possible before, something you couldn’t have imagined trying to achieve. Just like you can’t predict the complexity and beauty of a lifeform from the laws of chemistry (even though it obeys them) we could never have predicted what we’re currently developing from our vantage point even a year ago.

Q: What makes working in technology at Zeustra unique?


Erik Gainor: Erik Gainor: I believe it’s Zeustra’s philosophical foundations that make our company so unique from others. As a philosophy and technology geek myself, I dreamt of an organization that would shape the future. The name of our company is a mash-up between “Zeus and Zarathustra”, which represents a synergy between ancient Greek wisdom and the future goals of mankind. Something magical happens when you take the wisdom passed down to you and transform it into something that furthers its evolution.

We challenge ourselves every day to think unconventionally so that our biases don’t get in the way of technological progress. Innovation is a restless endeavor, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I believe that transformation is a key differentiator of the human experience. The digital transformation is an exciting opportunity to participate in the fastest evolution in the history of mankind.

John Wenger: There’s an environment of open-minded innovation here that’s refreshing and inspiring. Zeustra has been a highly profitable company for years; it would have been easy to do things the way they were always done in commercial real estate.

But instead, we’ve been pushing every day to find the leading edge of what technology can do to optimize and automate what has always been a paper-heavy, laborious process for buyers, sellers, and agents alike. Everyone I work with is willing to share ideas, listen to ideas, and let the best idea win. That’s how brilliant new solutions are born.

Q: Where do you see technology at Zeustra in the next few years?


Erik Gainor: I believe it’s Zeustra’s philosophical foundations that make our company so unique from others. As a philosophy and technology geek myself, I dreamt of an organization that would shape the future. The name of our company is a mash-up between “Zeus and Zarathustra”, which represents a synergy between ancient Greek wisdom and the future goals of mankind.

Something magical happens when you take the wisdom passed down to you and transform it into something that furthers its evolution. We challenge ourselves every day to think unconventionally so that our biases don’t get in the way of technological progress.

Innovation is a restless endeavor, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I believe that transformation is a key differentiator of the human experience. The digital transformation is an exciting opportunity to participate in the fastest evolution in the history of mankind. A few years in technology seems like light-years in the future economy. To stay ahead of global competition, you must have talented people fueled by a desire for innovation that occurs almost daily. Fortunately, we have passionate and intelligent individuals that have bought into our company vision requiring a constant deconstruction of old ways of doing things in favor of more efficient processes.

Maintaining a cultural zeitgeist inspired by innovation is fundamental to retaining our role as a global leader in technology development and digital transformation that optimizes real estate performance. We will continue to develop agile and scalable products that offer clients predictive intelligence only dreamt of a few years ago. It’s a very exciting time to be in our industry.

John Wenger: The pace of innovation is breathtaking and hard to predict, but I see three things that seem inevitable:

First, acceleration: I see things that used to take months taking days, sometimes hours.

Second, democratization: I see actionable knowledge emerging in real-time for buyers, sellers, and sales agents that would have seemed impossible and unknowable even 10 years ago knowledge buried in millions of data points that’s only accessible by feeding a sophisticated artificial intelligence with a vast single source of truth. The fallout of this is disintermediation – I see the elimination of obsolete middle players whose only remaining value lies in their asymmetrical access to purposefully obfuscated information.

Altogether, this means that buyers find better acquisitions faster, sellers close at a better premium faster, owners fill vacancies with better leases faster. The market increases its velocity and efficiency and everyone who survives wins.

About

Zeustra

Zeustra is a leading global commercial real estate advisor providing scalable data-to-value solutions to property owners, investors, tenants, and financial institutions. We offer an unparalleled combination of deep fundamental research, predictive analytics, and transformative technologies that deliver superior performance. Our culture of continuous innovation and excellence is the driving force within our organization.
Q&A

Erik Gainor and John Wenger on How Technology is Reshaping the Commercial Real Estate Sector

We sat down with two tech pioneers at Zeustra to discuss the evolution of technology operations at the firm and across industries.

Chief Operating Officer Erik Gainor and Solutions Engineer John Wenger talk about how Zeustra helps clients automate processes and optimize real estate performance through digital transformation and continuous innovation.

Erik Gainor is the CEO of Zeustra. He oversees all aspects of Zeustra’s operations while leading the growth strategy and future vision of the company.

John Wenger is Zeustra’s Solutions Engineer. He is responsible for all aspects of technology across Zeustra including product development, software integration, and digital transformation.

Q: How has the digital transformation changed Zeustra’s business in recent years?

Erik Gainor: The acceleration of the digital transformation has opened up opportunities in the real estate economy that didn’t exist just a few years ago. The dream of a single source of truth (SSOT) and process automation has finally matured into a new reality that democratizes global marketplaces ripe for disruptive innovation.

Zeustra has adopted a modular and agile approach to technology development that harnesses the speed of change characteristic of the future real estate economy. We can evolve much faster and scale better than our competitors. This enables us to offer technological solutions to our clients that improve performance and maximize returns on a global scale.

John Wenger: The digital transformation is transforming the face of commercial real estate from start to finish. For decades, the milieu of commercial real estate has been face-to-face meetings and stacks of paper. It meant driving across the state and sending lots of snail mail. Now, things like virtual meetings, remote tours, and electronic documents and signatures have accelerated and simplified the sales process. Under the hood, even more, powerful technologies are transforming vast clusters of data into real value using predictive analytics to help buyers and sellers find each other faster than ever before.

Q: What are the most exciting advancements in technology at Zeustra?

Erik Gainor:There has been so much transformation at Zeustra in the past year to the point that our business processes would have been unrecognizable just 18 months ago. Although I’ve always been heavily invested in the technology sector, there was a game changing moment when I realized that Zeustra was no longer a real estate company that had technology but was now a technology company that does real estate. This paradigm shift helped us flip the traditional real estate model upside down and break through some of the traditional barriers that limited growth and scalability.

Our most exciting breakthroughs are in new frontiers made possible by advancements in process automation, building information modeling (BIM), and artificial intelligence. We are fortunate to have great partnerships with global leaders in these sectors. This offers us incredible advantages as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation on behalf of our clients.

John Wenger: Individually, there are lots of exciting technologies we have integrated: Digitization, automation, multi- source data integration, machine learning, and so on, but to me, the most exciting advancement is the emergent quality of what happens when these technologies work together. It becomes something entirely new, something that didn’t seem possible before, something you couldn’t have imagined trying to achieve. Just like you can’t predict the complexity and beauty of a lifeform from the laws of chemistry (even though it obeys them) we could never have predicted what we’re currently developing from our vantage point even a year ago.

Q: What makes working in technology at Zeustra unique?

Erik Gainor: Erik Gainor: I believe it’s Zeustra’s philosophical foundations that make our company so unique from others. As a philosophy and technology geek myself, I dreamt of an organization that would shape the future. The name of our company is a mash-up between “Zeus and Zarathustra”, which represents a synergy between ancient Greek wisdom and the future goals of mankind. Something magical happens when you take the wisdom passed down to you and transform it into something that furthers its evolution.

We challenge ourselves every day to think unconventionally so that our biases don’t get in the way of technological progress. Innovation is a restless endeavor, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I believe that transformation is a key differentiator of the human experience. The digital transformation is an exciting opportunity to participate in the fastest evolution in the history of mankind.

John Wenger: There’s an environment of open-minded innovation here that’s refreshing and inspiring.

Zeustra has been a highly profitable company for years; it would have been easy to do things the way they were always done in commercial real estate.
But instead, we’ve been pushing every day to find the leading edge of what technology can do to optimize and automate what has always been a paper-heavy, laborious process for buyers, sellers, and agents alike.

Everyone I work with is willing to share ideas, listen to ideas, and let the best idea win. That’s how brilliant new solutions are born.

Q: Where do you see technology at Zeustra in the next few years?

Erik Gainor: I believe it’s Zeustra’s philosophical foundations that make our company so unique from others. As a philosophy and technology geek myself, I dreamt of an organization that would shape the future. The name of our company is a mash-up between “Zeus and Zarathustra”, which represents a synergy between ancient Greek wisdom and the future goals of mankind. Something magical happens when you take the wisdom passed down to you and transform it into something that furthers its evolution.

We challenge ourselves every day to think unconventionally so that our biases don’t get in the way of technological progress.
Innovation is a restless endeavor, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I believe that transformation is a key differentiator of the human experience. The digital transformation is an exciting opportunity to participate in the fastest evolution in the history of mankind. A few years in technology seems like light-years in the future economy. To stay ahead of global competition, you must have talented people fueled by a desire for innovation that occurs almost daily. Fortunately, we have passionate and intelligent individuals that have bought into our company vision requiring a constant deconstruction of old ways of doing things in favor of more efficient processes.

Maintaining a cultural zeitgeist inspired by innovation is fundamental to retaining our role as a global leader in technology development and digital transformation that optimizes real estate performance. We will continue to develop agile and scalable products that offer clients predictive intelligence only dreamt of a few years ago. It’s a very exciting time to be in our industry.

John Wenger: The pace of innovation is breathtaking and hard to predict, but I see three things that seem inevitable:

First, acceleration: I see things that used to take months taking days, sometimes hours. Second, democratization: I see actionable knowledge emerging in real-time for buyers, sellers, and sales agents that would have seemed impossible and unknowable even 10 years ago—knowledge buried in millions of data points that’s only accessible by feeding a sophisticated artificial intelligence with a vast single source of truth.

The fallout of this is disintermediation – I see the elimination of obsolete middle players whose only remaining value lies in their asymmetrical access to purposefully obfuscated information.

Altogether, this means that buyers find better acquisitions faster, sellers close at a better premium faster, owners fill vacancies with better leases faster. The market increases its velocity and efficiency and everyone who survives wins.

ABOUT ZEUSTRA

Healthcare

Zeustra is a leading global commercial real estate advisor providing scalable data-to-value solutions to property owners, investors, tenants, and financial institutions. We offer an unparalleled combination of deep fundamental research, predictive analytics, and transformative technologies that deliver superior performance. Our culture of continuous innovation and excellence is the driving force within our organization.